True Tale Of A Tortoise (NSFW)

The following is a true story. I first posted it in a discussion on the USENET group alt.callahans; about six or seven years later it appeared under my name (WarrenS) at Daily Kos. Now I’m finally bringing it home, as it were.

It was in the mid-70s, and I was young and foolish, in the middle of what turned out to be a two-year gap between high school and college. I’d moved out of my mother’s house, and set up an apartment with two other friends whom I’ll call Simon and John. This joint was in a run-down section of Somerville, Massachusetts, and the three of us devoted as little time as possible to mundane activities like making the absurdly low rent, and as much time as possible to music-making and freelance botanical research, if you get my drift.

It was, after all, the 70s, and we were all a little too late for the 60s — so we put in quite a bit of time playing catch-up. The locality was very tough indeed. One day I accepted a ride home from a guy I met in Harvard Square, who wanted to tell me about his ‘philosophy.’ Turned out he was a Satanist — and as we peaked the hill and drove down to my street, I saw my entire neighborhood enveloped in dense, choking black smoke…turned out the *tire warehouse* next door had caught fire. *That* was interesting — sitting at home with an Alistair Crowley follower while inhaling sulfur and brimstone.

But I digress. Simon was a pet person, and had a couple of cats whom I recall only dimly. But it was the other pet which lingers yet in my memory.

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